Perfume And Fragrances : Greek Times

It was not until after Alexander the Great, with his desire for conquest, defeated Darius III of Persia and moved into Egypt that he adopted the use of perfumes. It is said that his floors would be sprinkled with scented waters and that his clothes were imprinted with the perfumes of fragrant resins and myrrh.

Perfume held a special place in ceremonies and found its magic in the folds of ancient Greek religion. The Greeks believed the gods were the creators of perfume's and the visit of a god or goddess was marked with the sweet smell as a token of their presence.

Perfume became an integral part of Greek society, and perfume shops were popular meeting places for almost everyone and the daily bath was an important activity of Greek citizens. Different kinds of unguents were used simultaneously, with certain scents reserved for particular parts of the body.

The Greeks are attributed with the art of making the first liquid perfume, although it was quite different from perfume as we know it today. Their perfumes were fragrant powders mixed with heavy oils and were devoid of alcohol. The fragrant liquid was stored in elongated bottles made of alabaster and gold, called 'alabastrums'.

The Greeks played a very important role in the science of perfume by categorizing them by the part of the plant from which the fragrant oils were extracted and documented, in great detail, their compositions.

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